What better time of the year than during Stockholm Design Week to discuss home furnishings? To commemorate the event, Danish furniture manufacturer Carl Hansen & Søn leads us on a journey through the Scandinavian design movement. Catch the Q&A with Knud Erik Hansen, CEO at Carl Hansen & Søn.
To commemorate the Stockholm Design Week, Danish furniture manufacturer Carl Hansen & Søn takes us on a journey through the Scandinavian design movement.
Founded in 1908 as a woodworking shop, Carl Hansen & Søn has long symbolized quality and craftsmanship in Scandinavian design. A breath-taking list of Danish masters...
While the trend of transforming outdoor furniture to resemble indoor furniture has been going on for a few years, brands like Kettal have taken it to a new level, recreating the living room for the terrasse. The latest fad, however, is taking the outdoor-furniture look indoors.
For clients who are prone to pursuing the latest trends and are looking to refurbish their current or new home, mix-match furnishing is a must. Here are some examples for inspiration.
The Outdoor Living Room Look
Creating a space in an exterior environment which imitates a comfortable living area found inside the home can be achieved by placing the usual interior elements outside.
Architect and Designer Patricia Urquiola designed her Mesh collection for Kettal. It includes furniture that looks like it is for a typical living room, but is made with materials such as weather-resistant teak wood, light metal and waterproof fabrics: ideal for use in an outdoor setting.
A highlight in the Mesh collection is the sofa set, made with woven aluminum backrests and cushions upholstered in UV-resistant fabric. This furniture set, complemented with Ambient Nest outdoor LED lamps designed by Henrik Pedersen for Gloster, echoes a living room look that provides the same benefits of warmth and comfort you would have inside the home in an outdoor environment.
Kettal Mesh collection by Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola. Courtesy of Kettal.
Urquiola also designed a collection of patterned rugs, mats, roll pillows and cushions called Garden Layers for Gan, which are made of UV and water-resistant polypropylene fibers that are hand-loomed together. Matching and arranging various pieces from the Garden Layers collection with outdoor plants and fixtures can result in a space with a more relaxed vibe, imitating what would have been an indoor lounging area normally found inside the home in an exterior setting.
Importance of Color and Textiles
“One has to maintain a precise color choice and play with the different finishes and textures.”
Andrea Parisio, Art Director of Meridiani, has been successful in blending indoor and outdoor codes in all his collections for the brand. In an interview with ArchiExpo e-Magazine, Parisio states that in order:
“To obtain continuity between indoor and outer spaces, one has to maintain a precise color choice and play with the different finishes and textures.”
Parisio’s latest collection Blend presents a neutral color scheme with various pieces upholstered in technically-developed fabrics, generating the softness and refinement typical of indoor furniture covers.
Parisio shares that the Blend collection was “created with the aim of breaking down the boundaries between indoor and outdoor environments.” He explains:
We’re able to create the same comfort and warmth of interiors in outdoor spaces through combinations of new materials, while maintaining a recognizable style.
Notable pieces in the series include the Zoe armchair and the Joi Dining Table . The Joi dining table is built with a wooden frame that is supported by a metal structure and topped with a concrete slab, while the Zoe armchair has a varnished aluminum frame available in different chromatic options fitted with cushions upholstered in polyurethane and polyester fabric.
Thanks to the versatility of the materials and their neat lines they can easily be combined with other products of the living area.
Bench Blend Collection By Meridiani design Andrea Parisio. Courtesy of Meridiani.
“According to Your Own Personality”
Living Divani promotes the concept of personalization for clients through their online showroom which offers choices of fabrics in a rich palette of colors and a wide range of graphic patterns, similar to the ones that have always characterized the choices for indoor use.
The increasing popularity of outdoor life led Living Divani to develop designs that enable a greater interaction between indoors and outdoors, combining the two settings. Their collection called Agra, designed by David Lopez Quincoces, “offers endless combinations of its elements to fulfill different spatial needs” Carola Bestetti, CEO of the furniture brand, told ArchiExpo e-Magazine.
Living Divani’s advice for blending indoor and outdoor furniture is:
To privilege mainly sober elegant elements which are the leitmotif from the living room to the bedroom and from the dining room to outdoors, to be freely complemented by various items of a different nature, essential and rigorous or eclectic and decorative, according to your own personality.
A space that is both livable inside and out is an objective that can be elusive to some designers who are tasked to update a home using existing indoor or outdoor furniture. Altering interior furniture with the latest fabrics and materials suited for outdoor use is a good start, making these refurbished pieces ideal to be placed in both areas as needed. Choosing a color scheme that can be showcased by all elements found inside and outside the home is essential.
Agra collection by Living Divani, designed by David Lopez Quincoces. Courtesy of Living Divani.
Cars line the streets of a typical urban setting, bumper to bumper, squeezed to the brim. Schools have reached their pupil population limit and some children have to transfer. One thought comes to mind: there are too many people.
It is not on the radar for the numbers to go down. In fact, the population is expected to...
They say you can’t rush perfection. When January’s official opening performance took place at the Elbphilharmonie—Hamburg’s dazzling new concert venue—this soaring brick-and-glass monolith by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron was years behind schedule, not to mention €700 million over budget. But those who experience the venue’s advanced acoustics may feel it was worth the wait.
An opalescent glass sail sitting atop a refurbished warehouse, the Elbphilharmonie is a visually arresting building. With its rippled glass, vaulted ceilings and serpentine oak staircases, as well as the world’s first arched escalator, the interior is equally impressive. But it is the central auditorium, the raison d’être of the entire structure, which provides a real feast for the eyes…and the ears.
Click on the image to read our interview with Yasuhisa Toyota, the sound wizard.
The Elbphilharmonie’s 2,150-seat Great Concert Hall was conceived by Herzog & de Meuron and renowned Japanese acoustic expert Yasuhisa Toyota. With an intricately contoured, curvilinear coating of 10,000 interlocking gypsum fiber panels, the interior skin of the auditorium gives it an almost organic feel. Its cutting edge, sound-diffusing properties mean music truly brings this spectacular space to life.
The panels are the brainchild of Ben Koren, who founded New York- and Frankfurt-based computational design and digital fabrication consultancy firm ONE TO ONE in 2009. Working with a demanding acoustic brief, the American used custom algorithms to generate each panel’s unique parametric topography.
In terms of sound, it was our aim to create a perfectly diffusive space. We wanted the acoustic properties of the hall to be uniform, regardless of the listener’s location.
The desirable acoustics of many of the world’s finest concert venues, such as the venerable Wiener Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra, come from their asymmetric, heavily ornamented interiors. It is ironic that the clean lines of more contemporary music venue architecture may actually result in inferior sound.
Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg by Herzog & de Meuron. Courtesy of the architect.
Poor acoustics can be improved by retrofitting devices that absorb or diffuse sound. But in the Elbphilharmonie, the intention was to create a predetermined, sound-diffusing environment from inception. For Koren and his team, this meant generating a three-dimensional micro-landscape of one million adjoining cells, four to 16 centimeters in diameter, which was imprinted across the Great Concert Hall’s myriad panels using digitally controlled manufacturing techniques. Koren explains:
When sound waves from musical performances hit the panels, the surface cells either absorb or scatter them. The overall effect, which I like to think of as Wiener Musikverein 2.0, is balanced reverberation across the entire space.
Koren believes the Elbphilharmonie’s superior acoustics, which have so far wowed audiences, are a testament to the power of parametric design.
It would have been impossible to achieve the same aural outcome without digital solutions. For me, the real creativity comes in the algorithm.
The subject of what separates or unites art and design is quite convoluted and has been discussed and debated for some time. Some say art inspires and other say design motivates. What if this is the perfect combination for a winning strategy?
I recently had the opportunity to be part of a new concept in art and design: an art fair that displays beautiful art pieces from all mediums in luxurious mansions. The fair is called Art Fort Lauderdale—launched in 2017—and the idea is that art and design are not competing but complementary thus making a brave and very savvy statement that art and design combined, equals success.
The fair runs in such a way that galleries out of Miami, like mine, have a Luxury home on the water in which to display art. All of the homes and all of the art in the homes are for sale.
Simone Monney painting, created for and featured in Art Fort Lauderdale.
The art fair consisted of five gallery-run homes and what we call Indy art homes. My gallery curated two of the homes with our team of professionals, selecting the artworks and furnishings—including brands such as Fendi, Monney interiors, Murat and Sandstrom and Kimmo Kaivanto, to name a few. In the indie homes the artists actually all came together to help the directors and homeowners curate an absolutely magnificent space.
Swiss artist Simone Monney was one of our featured artists. Monney has been represented by our gallery for the past year. She is very well known for her “lyrical abstraction” style. Her method is inspired by the rhyme of music. In her paintings nothing is planned in advance except the colors, which are chosen very carefully.
Monney thinks outside the box and is creating new avenues for her work to be seen and appreciated in both the art and design world. Hired by interior design firm Attitude Deco in Lausanne, Switzerland, and personal clients in Europe, Monney has watched and participatedin a world where art and design mingle and couple side by side. In an interview for ArchiExpo e-Magazine, Simonne said:
For me one of the the most basic principles of interior design is that every room needs a focal point, or a single design element that will instantly draw the eye into the space and give the viewer a sense of what to expect. It goes without saying that a great piece of wall art or sculpture could easily fulfill this position, as could a design piece.
Art and design can be categorized as a luxury product, according to Monney. She explains that today’s luxury customers want to feel an emotion when buying a product, through storytelling or customization.
Art and design go in this direction. Customizing an art piece is my greatest challenge. It takes a lot of sensitivity to feel the desire of a client and analyze his interior needs and taste.
While studying at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japanese architect Oki Sato visited Salone del Mobile in Milan for his graduate trip, where the works of fellow countryman Tokujin Yoshioka opened his eyes to opportunity and possibility. His passion was ignited by seeing Yoshioka’s work, as well as those of designers from other parts of the world who would approach design more freely than what he had seen in Japan.
Conceptual chairs by Nendo inspired by Japanese manga. Learn more here. Photo credit: Kenichi Sonehara.
“My activity has not been restricted to any area. It is multifarious, spanning from graphic and product design to furniture, installations, windows and interiors,” he says, in an email interview with ArchiExpo e-Magazine. But the extensive versatility of Nendo—Sato’s company—does not change the fundamental essence of his work.
Of course there will be a number of technical differences between designing the shape of a small piece of chocolate and a large interior space, but in both cases it will be living human beings that are somehow interacting with the designs. The goal of eliciting an emotional reaction within those people doesn’t change in the slightest.
Distinguished as “designer of the year” by magazines like Wallpaper and Elle Decor, Sato, 40, was born in Toronto and lived there for ten years. In 2002, Sato became a Master in Architecture and founded Nendo along with four college associates in his parents’ garage.
I spend my days constantly thinking about design. I’ve never really thought of it as ‘work’. It’s just part of my everyday life, like breathing or sleeping.
Among the many recent Nendo collaborations are Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido’s new headquarters, shoe brand Camper’s new flagship store in New York and a limited-edition of hand-cut chess pieces made of Harcourt crystals to celebrate the 250-year anniversary of iconic luxury brand Baccarat. As for architecture, Nendo worked on completely refurbishing Siam Discovery, the Bangkok department store. Sato and his team also designed the Tenri Station Plaza CoFuFun in Japan.
The interior of complex Plaza CoFuFun expresses the Nendo signature. Courtesy of Nendo.
Sato does not believe in great differences between catering to the Japanese or Western markets.
We are not too concerned with whether our clients are Japanese or Western. After many years, we have developed ‘the Nendo way’, that doesn’t refer to any specific visual style or signature look, but rather the way we approach challenges and find solutions.
The company has a management staff performing administrative functions and around thirty design and/or architecture professionals, not all of them Japanese. Whenever Nendo takes on bigger projects in interior design, it works in collaboration with Japanese architecture firm Ondo, which is located in the same building and shares some of Sato’s company space.
Nendo is now practically a nickname for Sato himself, which makes sense as he provides the guidelines for all projects and supervises everything. The office’s interior has a simple, clean-yet-elegant design. In Sato’s room there is no sign of computers or any electronic devices, just a table and seating. The almost monastic environment is only alleviated by the presence of Kinako, Sato’s dog, a Chihuahua-pug crossbreed. Sato was not in Japan when ArchiExpo e-Magazine visited the Nendo offices, but the mark of his work could be seen everywhere.
The company headquarters occupies part of Sogetsu Kaikan, a building conceived by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange over 50 years ago which nonetheless appears impressively modern. The charming Connel Coffee café on the second floor was designed by Sato’s team. In front of the building is the Akasaka Imperial property, a huge garden that belongs to the Japanese Imperial family, providing the office with stunning, luxurious views of Tokyo.
Not bad for a promising small-garage-founded company created almost 16 years ago.
The “paper-torch” is an electronic sheet of paper that can be rolled up into a torch. Nendo used AgIC’s [now Elephantec] flexible circuits in collaboration with TAKEO, a Japanese paper manufacturer, with button cells and LEDs fixed with conductive adhesive. The user can control the light intensity by the degree of tightness with which the paper is rolled. The color of the light (warm orange or cold white) can be varied depending how the paper has been manipulated. The device can also be hung as a pendant or used as a desk lamp. Photo credit: Akihiro Yoshida.